You’ve been in business for a while and things are going well, but you know it could be better. You’re investing money in third-party delivery companies to deliver your goods to local customers, but it’s becoming costly and impersonal.
Start your own home delivery service for your business to gain a competitive advantage. Offering in-house delivery allows you to provide your customers with a higher level of personalized service. Customers who are happier are more likely to do business with you, reduce costs, and increase revenue. Even if you already have an in-house delivery system in place, transforming it from good to great is a simple way to jumpstart stagnant revenue and customer reviews.
The first step is to understand what makes a great delivery experience.
Small business delivery vs Amazon delivery
Your customers have high expectations of your company. The Amazons of the world have set a very high standard, particularly when it comes to shipping and delivery. According to one survey, up to 89 percent of people prefer to shop on Amazon over other sites. In a world where customers expect products to be delivered the same or next day, your company must meet these demands or risk going out of business.
Even if you have a small business budget, you can compete with the “big guys.” Apart from providing on-time deliveries, the customer experience you create by handling your own local deliveries may persuade someone to purchase from you rather than Amazon or your competitors.
What makes a great customer experience?
While you may not be able to match Amazon’s speed exactly, you can make up for it by providing a stellar customer experience. Customer service is an important component of a positive delivery experience.
Here’s what customers expect from your company, according to the findings of Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer report:
- Understand their requirements: 76% of customers expect you to be aware of their requirements and expectations. They expect you to provide an easy-to-use online ordering system that allows them to place orders, pay for them, and schedule delivery without having to call a help desk. If you don’t, your potential customer will go to a competitor who can provide them with what they want.
- Customized service: This entails being a part of the end-to-end solution for getting products to customers without having to rely on third-party delivery services. They want to be kept informed about the status of their order along the way (SMS and email notifications are popular channels for this). They’ll go to a competitor who offers a more personalized experience if you don’t.
- Provide Amazon-like experiences: 69 percent of those polled believe your company will provide personalized and efficient service on par with Amazon. If you don’t, your potential customers will instead go to Amazon to spend their money. This entails a transparent fulfillment and delivery service with notifications sent via email, phone, or text at each stage of the process.
- Good reviews: 62 percent of customers are more likely to tell others about their bad experiences than their good ones. When people compare shop online, this has an impact on your brand (which we know they do because we do it too). To counteract any negative press that may appear on your reviews page, personally contact your most loyal customers and ask them to leave a review. Consumers will not trust you enough to take a chance on your product or delivery service if you don’t have enough positive reviews.
The key elements of an amazing delivery experience
A great delivery experience is made up of several key elements:
1. Customer notifications that are sent automatically
Automation not only saves time and money, but it also improves customer satisfaction! If you text important information to your customers, 77% of them will have a positive impression of your company. They can better plan how they want to receive a delivery if you email or text them important delivery updates.
If they can’t be there in person, they may need to arrange for a friend or family member to pick up a delivery from their front door. Automated notifications assist your customers in getting through their day.
2. Provide contactless delivery options
When it comes to purchasing decisions, consumers now have new safety concerns. Your company must now offer contactless delivery options for the safety of your drivers and customers, as well as to stay competitive. When this is combined with automated notifications, the recipient can plan ahead for their delivery and pick it up as soon as the driver departs.
Your drivers may save time by not having to wait for someone to answer the door and accept the delivery if you use contactless delivery. They can just take a picture of the package and move on to the next. Customers can also prepare for a contactless delivery by using features like delivery tracking. This is particularly important for valuable deliveries and food items that should not be left unattended on a front porch for an extended period of time.
3. Integrate your e-commerce and delivery technologies
You could manually take orders, pack orders, and plan deliveries, but that’s not a sustainable practice if you want to scale your business and make more profit. Make it easier for your team and your customers. Provide your customers with an easy-to-use e-commerce platform where they can buy products, customize their delivery or pick-up options, and pay for their order effortlessly.
The more you can automate order fulfillment and delivery, the more time you and your team will have to push product development, sales, and marketing. Your e-commerce platform can often directly feed into your delivery management system too. The delivery portion of your purchase lifecycle often accounts for up to 53% of the total costs of delivery so use technology to optimize this process as much as possible.
4. Use branded professional-looking delivery vehicles
Don’t be enticed to purchase a low-cost delivery van or truck. Building brand trust and providing a superior customer experience require a professional appearance. It contributes to the overall quality of the delivery experience.
Your delivery vehicle should be spotless, branded (with your logo or company name on the outside), and in keeping with the overall look of your company. Consider using an eco-friendly vehicle for delivery instead of a Hummer or gas-guzzling SUV if you sell environmentally conscious products.
EasyRoutes is fully integrated with Shopify and your store’s orders. This means that we can update your order statuses for you to mark them as delivered.
5. Plan delivery routes ahead of time to get more done faster
While same-day delivery may be too much for your small business to handle in-house at the moment, you can still optimize your route planning to get packages delivered as quickly as possible. Your delivery drivers will spend less time driving (which is not a revenue-generating activity) and will be able to deliver more packages with better route planning (a revenue-generating activity).
It not only prepares you to provide an excellent delivery experience, but it also allows you to save money on fuel and increase profits by utilizing effective route planning.
6. Write a handwritten note
Much of your order fulfillment and delivery process is likely to be generic and automated, which your customer will be aware of. You have the opportunity to create something truly special as part of your great delivery experience for the customer when you add a personal touch to each order, such as a handwritten note thanking them for their purchase.
7. Provide options for free delivery.
53% of customers say that free or discounted shipping is one of the most important factors for consumers when deciding where to shop. You can better manage your costs or roll delivery costs into your standard product pricing and offer free delivery to your customers when you handle delivery in-house.
60 percent of customers are willing to pay a higher price for faster delivery.
To boost profits, consider offering this service.
Use EasyRoutes to make your deliveries great
For local businesses, order delivery is no longer a “nice-to-have.” With so many people demanding fast, home delivery of their purchases, it’s becoming necessary. Use in-house delivery services to provide an extra customer touchpoint and improve your customers’ overall experience.
If you’re ready to boost customer satisfaction by launching or expanding your own in-house delivery service, start using one of EasyRoutes’s 14-day free trials.
Learn more about EasyRoutes at https://easyroutes.app
Get EasyRoutes on the Shopify App Store at https://apps.shopify.com/easyroutes